Updated on 17/04/2020
The coronavirus lockdown is hard for many people, but could be particularly traumatic or even dangerous if you’re in an abusive relationship. Our family law solicitors are offering a free 20 minute consultation to anyone suffering from domestic abuse throughout the length of the coronavirus crisis.
Over the last few weeks, the statistics on domestic abuse have increased. Refuge, the country’s largest domestic abuse charity, reported a 700% increase in calls in one day.
If you’re suffering from domestic abuse during this lockdown, we understand you may feel there’s little you can do. This information will help you understand your rights and where you can get help.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse can come in many forms. It’s not always physical, and can include:
- Coercive control and ‘gaslighting’ (manipulating someone so they doubt their own memory, judgement or even sanity)
- Financial control
- Online abuse
- Verbal abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Physical or sexual abuse.
What are my rights?
No one should have to suffer domestic abuse and protection from domestic abuse is available to anyone, such as:
- Married and unmarried partners living together
- People in a civil partnership living together
- Members of the same family
- People living in the same house but not in a relationship.
If you or someone in your home is suffering from abuse in any way, contact our solicitors today on 0370 1500 100 for a free 20 minute talk on how we can help.
What can I do if I’m suffering from domestic abuse?
If a crime is committed, such as physical violence against you, you should call the police. It’s their duty to arrest the person responsible.
Unfortunately, the police don’t have the power to force someone to leave your house if it’s not clear that a crime has been committed.
If this is the case, then you should contact a family solicitor immediately. If you’re worried about the cost, we may be able to help you get legal aid to cover legal costs if you decide to take things forward.
If you don’t qualify for legal aid, we’ll be offering a fixed-fee service at a reduced rate to help you get protection from the court as soon as possible. Where necessary, we can also get the court process started quickly to resolve issues.
The Family Court can order someone to leave your home if the Judge is satisfied that it’s necessary to protect you while you’re at home.
The Family Court can also make protective orders (non-molestation orders) to stop someone abusing you whether you continue to live with them or not. People who break these orders can be arrested by the police and convicted in a criminal court.
Our solicitors can help you get initial advice on your situation for free. We’ll have a confidential talk about your situation where we’ll advise on what the best steps are to take.
Call us today on 0370 1500 100 for a free 20 minute talk.
Men’s Advice line
Galop – for members of the LGBT+ community
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